By Junko Yoshida, EE Times
Hoping to take advantage of Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports already widely available in a range of consumer appliances, Royal Philips Electronics (Eindhoven, the Netherlands) is rolling out what the company claims is the industry's first USB bridge controller chip.
The new "On-the-Go" bridge controller chip would allow manufacturers of mobile phones, digital cameras and PDAs with built-in USB device capability to add mobile functionality, according to Philips. The USB On-the-Go chip enables portable devices to transfer data directly to another peripheral device without first having to connect to a PC.
The USB On-the-Go spec released in December 2001 is an addendum to the broadly implemented USB 2.0 standard. The supplemental spec allows direct connectivity between mobile handsets or portable consumer appliances without the aid of a host PC. Those conforming to the USB On-the-Go spec can dynamically set up a master-slave relationship between devices.
Philips said hopes to fuel broader adoption of USB On-the-Go spec through its new bridge controller. The ISP1261/2 bridge controller does not require manufacturers to redesign the original USB hardware in a portable device. Instead, it can be implemented as a companion chip for a SoC or CPU on the existing printed circuit board or designed in a separate dongle.
Philips is offering two versions of On-the-Go bridge controllers:ISP1261 and ISP1262. The ISP1261 interfaces with the baseband or SoC using USB D+/D- analog signaling. The ISP1262 interfaces with the baseband or SoC using programmable transceiver interface signals. It can directly connect to basebands that integrate the USB Serial Interface Engine. Both the ISP1261 and the ISP1262 support full-speed (12 Mbps) and low-speed (1.5 Mbps) data transfer rates in addition to the full USB On-the-Go protocol and multi-tier hub environments.
According to the USB Implementers Forum, a trade organization promoting the adoption of USB, 1 billion USB devices have been shipping over the last five years. Many of them can be converted to USB On-the-Go supported devices by adding a bridge controller.
The Philips bridge controller chip is sampling in the third quarter of 2003 and is scheduled for volume production in the first quarter of 2004. Both ISP1261/2 bridge controller chips are priced at $1.90 in 100,000-unit volumes.
Philips announced earlier this year that its USB On-the-Go controller chip, dubbed ISP1361, provides USB On-the-Go connectivity for Sony Corp.'s newest CLIE handheld devices.